Category: Movies

“Batman: Dying is Easy” – The Amazing Short is Here! It is a Must-See!


Batman: Dying is Easy is a fan-made film that’s better than most “professional” films.  The writing, direction, editing, acting, and set design are all top notch.  I love the movie character cameos – Commissioner Gordon, Hugo Strange, Bullock, The Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivey, Harley Quinn,  I also like the star cameos – Kevin Porter, Michael Madsen, Doug Jones, Chris Daughtry and Casper Von Dien.

Directed by Aaron Schoenke and Sean Schoenke from a script by Aaron Schoenke.  Aaron and Sean are brothers and the creative team behind other amazing fan films which include Batman vs Darth Vader, Predator vs Wolverine, Spider-man vs Darth Maul, and more.  Someone needs to give these guys a feature film!

Directed by Aaron Schoenke and Sean Schoenke
Starring:
Kevin Porter as Batman
Aaron Schoenke as Joker
Michael Madsen as Bullock

“Batman and Joker have always had such an interested psychological relationship, it’s those dark concepts that make the characters so interesting.”

Eddie Muller’s Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir is Getting a Revised & Expanded Hardcover Edition!

Fans of film noir will be excited to learn that Eddie Muller’s classic Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir is getting a revised and expanded hard cover edition!

This revised and expanded edition of Eddie Muller’s Dark City is a film noir lover’s bible, taking readers on a tour of the urban landscape of the grim and gritty genre in a definitive, highly illustrated volume.

Dark City expands with new chapters and a fresh collection of restored photos that illustrate the mythic landscape of the imagination. It’s a place where the men and women who created film noir often find themselves dangling from the same sinister heights as the silver-screen avatars to whom they gave life. Eddie Muller, host of Turner Classic Movies’ Noir Alley, takes readers on a spellbinding trip through treacherous terrain: Hollywood in the post-World War II years, where art, politics, scandal, style — and brilliant craftsmanship — produced a new approach to moviemaking, and a new type of cultural.

I’ve already pre-ordered mine.  You can too, if you’re so inclined.  Here is the Amazon link (at a discounted price).

Eddie Muller has teamed with Larry Edmund’s Bookshop in Hollywood California to provide autographed copies that will also contain an exclusive graphic stamp.  These copies can be ordered here.

“Hollow Point” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Hollow Point – The Poster and Trailer are Here!  The poster is pretty generic.  I enjoyed the trailer and would watch this when it comes to one of my streaming services.

When his wife and daughter are senselessly murdered, a grieving man finds himself caught up in a war between a group of charismatic vigilantes and the crime that infests their city.

Starring: Luke Goss, Dilan Jay, Jay Mohr
Directed by: Daniel Zirilli

“Suspense” Short – Worth a Watch!

Suspense. is a six minute horror short.  If you like old-school horror that depends on your imagination rather than gore, this one is for you.  The brothers, Ben & Jacob Burghart, who made Suspense show a lot of talent.  I look forward to seeing more from them.

Having survived a harrowing plane crash, an army pilot finds himself hanging from his parachute, suspended from a canopy of trees high above the forest floor. After making contact with his co-pilot on the ground, they realize that something is stalking them in the dark.

“Suspense” by Ben & Jacob Burghart

“The Outside Story” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

The Outside Story.  I know, I know.  The poster and the synopsis do not look like something I’d normally like.  I agree with you, but watch the trailer.  It won me over.

Starring Brian Tyree Henry, Sonequa Martin-Green, Sunita Mani, and Olivia Edward.
While on a tight deadline, an introverted editor (Brian Tyree Henry) is locked out of his apartment. In order to find his way back inside, he’s forced to interact with…his neighbors.

“The Unholy” Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

The Unholy.  The poster is interesting.  I like Jeffrey Dean Morgan and the trailer isn’t bad.  I’ll keep an eye out for The Unholy.

When God builds a church, ᛭he devil builds a chapel next door.

The Unholy follows Alice, a young hearing-impaired girl who, after a supposed visitation from the Virgin Mary, is inexplicably able to hear, speak and heal the sick. As word spreads and people from near and far flock to witness her miracles, a disgraced journalist (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) hoping to revive his career visits the small New England town to investigate. When terrifying events begin to happen all around, he starts to question if these phenomena are the works of the Virgin Mary or something much more sinister. The Unholy is produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Evan Spiliotopoulos, written for the screen and directed by Evan Spiliotopoulos, and is based upon James Herbert’s best-selling book Shrine.

“Vanquish” Starring Morgan Freeman and Ruby Rose – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Vanquish starring Morgan Freeman and Ruby Rose has a new poster and trailer.  I like (not love) both and look forward to seeing Vanquish when it comes to one of my streaming services.

From the director of Double Take, Middle Men, and The Poison Rose comes this stylish, glossy action-thriller starring Morgan Freeman (Se7en) and Ruby Rose (“Orange Is the New Black“) that shows what desperation can drive a person to do. A mother, Victoria (Rose), is trying to put her dark past as a Russian drug courier behind her, but retired cop Damon (Freeman) forces Victoria to do his bidding by holding her daughter hostage. Now, Victoria must use guns, guts, and a motorcycle to take out a series of violent gangsters — or she may never see her child again.

Sly Stallone Directed Films, Ranked

Jake Dee at ScreenRant looked at the IMDb to come up with Every Movie Sylvester Stallone Has Directed, Ranked.  I decided to compare the IMDb rankings with my own.  After the chart are my thoughts…

Jake Dee (ScreenRant)

Zablo

1. Rocky II

1. Rocky Balboa

2. Rocky Balboa

2. Rocky III

3. Rambo

3. Rambo

4. Rocky IV

4. Paradise Alley

5. Rocky III

5. The Expendables

6. The Expendables

6. Rocky II

7. Paradise Alley

7. Rocky IV

8. Staying Alive

8. Staying Alive

Dee and I agreed on two rankings: #3 – Rambo and #8 – Staying Alive.

I placed Rocky Balboa in the #1 spot for a few reasons. Sly did a wonderful job of capturing the feel of the first movie, but making sure that it also captured how things had changed with the passing of time. I also have a special place for Rocky Balboa because it was such a longshot to be made and it gave the series a wonderful bookend closing.

Rocky III made the #2 spot because Sly was able to take the classic Rocky format (from 1 and 2) and modernize it. It was a dangerous move (Rocky loses, Mickey dies, new music, fast pace, add pro-wrestling) but it worked.

Rambo is #3. Sly placed Rambo with a team and made the battle scenes more graphic. Many thought an older Rambo wouldn’t work, but Sly showed that it would not only work but be one of the best films in the Rambo series.

Paradise Alley comes in at #4. Paradise Alley doesn’t get enough love. Sly’s directorial debut and he chooses a period piece that walks the fine line between drama and comedy. I’m a huge Paradise Alley fan.

#5 is The Expendables. Don’t call it a comeback. What a cool idea. Sly brings together fan favorite action stars and he makes it work not only for this film, but also a new movie series.

Rocky 2 is #6. Sly taking over the directing chores from the man who won the Oscar for directing Rocky. It was a big step, but Sly didn’t falter. Rocky II is a worthy follow-up.

Rocky IV comes in at #7. I like the idea for Rocky IV but it falters just a bit with the Miami Vice quick-cut editing to music. I have grown to enjoy Rocky IV more over time and especially with the way it sets up Creed.

The final spot goes to Stayin’ Alive. I enjoyed this film, but one of Sly’s movies has to come in at #8. Taking on this movie was a huge challenge and props to Sly for stepping up.

“Night of the Sicario” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Alright.  Let’s break this down.

The poster says the movie is titled Blindsided, but the movie is now called Night of the Sicario.  I do not care for the poster at all.  I do like the new movie title better than the original.

The trailer is better than I thought it would be.  I think that the obvious music callback to Sicario to open the trailer doesn’t help it.  Night of the Sicario isn’t a sequel to Sicario and the music nod just seems like a cheap way to get some goodwill.  With that said, I do like the trailer and wouldn’t mind seeing more of the movie.

Starring: Natasha Henstridge, Manny Perez, Costas Mandylor
Directed By: Joth Riggs
Synopsis: Natasha Henstridge (Species) and Costas Mandylor (Saw franchise) star in this action-packed, suspenseful thriller that will shock you at every turn. While transporting the family of a key witness in a federal trial against the cartel, DEA agents are ambushed in a fatal shootout. Now the survivors, including the witness’ young daughter, must take refuge in a nearby home as the ruthless sicarios hunt them down. With danger at every corner and a violent hurricane wiping out any chance of outside help, they must play a deadly game of cat and mouse with the cartel to live through the night.

“Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters” – The Teaser Trailer is Here!

Even if you don’t recognize the name, Mike Mignola, you know his creation, Hellboy.  Perhaps the most popular comic character created in the last 40 years, Hellboy has been adapted into several movies, games, comic series and more.  A documentary about Hellboy’s creator, Mike Mignola, is in the works.  The first teaser trailer is here!

When Actors Return to Play Their Most Popular Characters

MeTV posted an interesting piece called 9 Times Actors Revived Their Beloved TV Characters Long After the Show was Over.  It’s always interesting when this happens since it is like trying to recapture lighting in a bottle.  It is hard to recreate the magic.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  Before you click over, here are my three favorites from their list and my thoughts to go with each…

  • Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden.  (I’m a huge fan of the original Honeymooners series from the 50s.  I fondly remember watching reruns of the show with my grandparents.  I have the original 39 episodes on dvd and still watch ’em.  I haven’t seen any of the Honeymooners reunion specials, but would love to… even if they don’t live up to the high bar set by the original series. – Craig)
  • Leonard Nimoy as Spock.  (I’m a fan of the original Star Trek series,  I’ve seen the movies with the original crew as well as the rebooted Star Trek featuring Kirk, Spock and McCoy.  I’ve not watched any of the Star Trek spin offs.  I loved seeing Leonard Nimoy return to play Spock in the  J.J. Abrams’ reboot! This was a revisit that worked! – Craig)
  • Peter Falk as Columbo.  (I’m not sure this should really count as a revisit since Falk continued to play Columbo in movies over the years.  I’ve seen all of the Falk Columbo‘s and what a joy it is to see the same actor play the same character over a span of 30+ years.  Revisit or not, it doesn’t get better. – Craig)

Although it didn’t make the list, The Wild, Wild West is perhaps my all-time favorite tv show,  It ran for 104 episodes over four seasons starting in 1965 and ending in 1969.  There were two tv movie revisits: The Wild Wild West Revisited (1979) and More Wild Wild West (1980).  I remember being disappointed in them, but plan to, uh, revisit them someday. – Craig)

“Drive All Night” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Drive All Night  potential to be a fun ride.  Finally we get an art poster!  The trailer has a real 80s vibe and the synopsis is has me looking forward to seeing the movie.

NEO-NOIR FEATURE ‘DRIVE ALL NIGHT’ TO DEBUT AT 2021 CINEQUEST! DRIVE ALL NIGHT, a new feature film starring Yutaka Takeuchi (Marvel’s ‘The Defenders’) will make its World Premiere in competition at the Cinequest Film Festival, running March 20-30, 2021. Voted Best Film Festival by readers of USA Today, Cinequest draws an audience of over 110,000 to its annual event celebrating innovation, discovery and creativity in the heart of Silicon Valley. “Cinequest is always searching for films that stretch the boundaries of storytelling, and visions from artists who are looking to reinvent genres. ‘Drive All Night’ is a spectacular example of a story we have never seen before. It took us by surprise, took us on a ride, and it swept us up in one of the most unpredictable journeys,” said Michael Rabehl, Programming Director at Cinequest.

‘Drive All Night’ follows Dave (Yutaka Takeuchi), a reclusive swing-shift taxi driver, whose night takes an unexpected turn after he picks up a mysterious passenger, Cara (Lexy Hammonds), a young woman hiding a dark secret. As she makes him drive through the city on a series of bizarre excursions, things get increasingly more surreal the further into the night they go. Sarah Dumont (‘Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse,’ ‘The Royals’) plays Morgan, a sympathetic waitress who works at a diner that Dave often frequents, while Johnny Gilligan plays Lenny, an obsessive hitman guided by strange visions, who pursues our protagonists through the night.

‘Drive All Night’ is the debut film from award-winning writer-director Peter Hsieh. While Hsieh is most known for his staged plays that have been produced and workshopped at theaters across the country, including Nylon Fusion, Hollywood Fringe, San Jose Rep’s Emerging Artist Lab (SJREAL), T. Schreiber Studio, and the Asian American Theatre Company, ‘Drive All Night’ marks his first foray into feature filmmaking. “I wanted to develop a complex and layered narrative that became increasingly more dream-like and surreal as the story developed. My goal is to take the audience down the rabbit hole on a fever dream trip through wonderland and hopefully have them come out the other side both baffled and entertained,” said Hsieh.